Emirates will resume flights to Erbil in northern Iraq from August 15 following a “comprehensive review and detailed risk assessment”.
The Dubai-based carrier had suspended flights to the Kurdish capital in March amid security concerns after the terrorist group ISIL attacked ancient cities north of Iraq.
“We have been closely observing the situation in northern Iraq,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, the Emirates senior vice president. “Upon a comprehensive review of our operations as well as a detailed risk assessment that is in line with Emirates safety standards, we decided to recommence our services to Erbil. This will help support the wider business community in resuming their activities in Erbil which had been disrupted by conflict.”
Emirates will operate four weekly return flights – on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft in two and three-class configurations.
Emirates has been serving Iraq since 2011 and currently operates services to Basra. The airline also resumed its cargo services to Erbil late last year.
The budget carrier flydubai resumed flights to Erbil in June, after it stopped serving the route in March.
However, security remains a challenge for the airline industry. Last year, insurance premium rates rose to the highest level since the September 11 attacks.
The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370, the downing of its flight MH17 and the Air Algerie plane crash added to an annual insurance industry losses of more than US$2 billion last year.
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